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Pleats: How the book The Help and Vintage Dresses Coincide Perfectly

In my last post, I discussed the interesting overlap of two novels in my reading world. I went over a few of the similarities of two very different books, with very different genres and subject matter, but also pointed out that the tone and type were the same.

This happened to me ... again. How apropos. Only, this time, it was the merging of my reading and vintage worlds. As I have mentioned before, I sell vintage clothing. This November marks ten years of selling vintage clothing and it's still one of my most favorite "jobs" of all time.

For those who haven't read the book The Help, by Kathryn Stockett (there has been a huge debate over it due to the resurgence of the racism topic in America, but I loved the concept, as well as the history and highly recommend it), this book is an interesting look at life for working black American women (working for non-working white American women) in the early 1960s. 

While I was getting ready to take pictures of an early '60s dress in order to list it on my vintage shop site, I had to iron out numerous pleats to get the dress to sit straight and beautiful for photos. I had plugged in my hand-held steamer and was systematically going through each pleat, which was taking forever! 

This is that dress. Pleats galore.
This is that dress. Pleats galore.

Ladies, if you ever complain that you can't find the right hat to wear over your four-day-old hair while wearing yoga pants and sweatshirts, just don't. The women of the 1960s, to look decent, had to iron their pleats. (Mom, you're amazing.) We've got it good today. Or rather, we have it very relaxed. Too relaxed in my humble opinion, but that's another post for a different blog. 

Later that afternoon, in the very first chapter of The Help, I read how one of the main characters is ironing pleats, and I couldn't help but relate to it in a small but varied way; in a completely contrasting time, as a completely different woman, in a completely different decade.

"She already got the blue dress on I ironed this morning, the one with sixty-five pleats on the waist, so tiny I got to squint through my glasses to iron. I don’t hate much in life, but me and that dress is not on good terms" (The Help, page 2).

Those pleats are from the devil. I know this, now. They are nearly impossible to get right. There are so many of them, it's like I'm trying to brush my dog's teeth -- while she insists on not holding still -- thereby rending me useless. And it's never-ending.

I'm not sure if the pleats came outright, but I sure tried. 

Living in a different decade -- in the current time -- is somewhat normal for me as I wear vintage almost every day. But, getting a small glimpse into how much work goes into looking right from the 1960s, well, let's just say I'm now beginning to understand the yoga pants appeal.

Happy reading. ♥


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